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GM may help SAIC develop independent brand

General Motors is entering a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) to help the Chinese company develop its own brand of cars to market globally.

GM chairman and chief executive Richard Wagoner announced that GM may cooperate with SAIC to develop their own independent brand.

Speaking at a conference with SAIC president Hu Maoyuan and BMW chairman Helmut Panke, Wagoner said that such cooperation would be "unusual" but is achievable.

"Working together on it may help to improve the cost base or competitiveness of all the products we produce in co-operation with SAIC." Wagoner said.

Maoyuan said that the company was seeking to develop its own models and hoped to have annual output of 50,000 units under a five-year plan started in 2002.

Maoyuan says: “Our own brand and that of the joint venture does not necessarily have to compete against one another.” Maoyuan expects SAIC and its joint ventures will have a combined annual output of one million vehicles in 2006.

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